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A different pace

I recently took a three hour walk in the woods with a 5 year old. We made it 2 miles. Along the way, we looked under at least 50 of the rocks we came across. We found 3 salamanders, countless worms and a whole lot of mud. Without a need to get anywhere and going at the pace of a 5-year-old in nature, I noticed these things:

- Beautiful stone walls, signs of another time when these woods were pasture for sheep or cows

- The rustling of the dried leaves under our feet

- Every tiny stream or trickle of water we came across

- Tiny bubbles coming up to the surface of a small pond

- A patch of red clay in the stream, which we happily played in and collected from

- A frog peering at us from below a rock (I have to give full credit to Wyatt for this one!)

- Scat of some sort- bear?

- The hill now visible to the northeast through the now bare trees

It was a delightful way to spend time in nature. I went for a second walk recently, alone this time, and mindfully walked as Wyatt had taught me. I left the rocks unturned, but I did notice:

- Acorn hats, some connected, in the ground

- A woodpecker in an apple tree

- Two apples wedged into the nooks of said apple tree

- The branches of a tree softly holding a short stick that had fallen into its embrace

- A singing brook

- The sweet smell of cow manure

- A surprised garter snake

- One maple tree still brilliant yellow and green, while all the other trees around it were bare

Of course, we can’t all go at this slower, more mindful pace all the time. How would we “get anything done?” But I can slow down and notice more, more often- especially in nature. It’s a beautiful thing to learn from beings of other generations, humans and streams and dreams and mountains alike.


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